Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Kingdoms of Science

book illustrations : cephalopod species
Octope de cuvier, Argonaute argo, Seche commune, Calamar de brongniart, Nautile pompile, Spirule australe



Asterie vulgaire, Crinoide lys-de-mer, Ourisin comestible, Spatangue velu, Holothurie comestible, Porpite geante
Asterie vulgaire, Crinoide lys-de-mer, Ourisin comestible, Spatangue velu, Holothurie comestible, Porpite géante



Belemnite, Conilite, Ammonite, Orbiculine, Scaphite, Baculite, Hamite, Amplexe, Turrilite
Belemnite, Conilite, Ammonite, Orbiculine, Scaphite, Baculite, Hamite, Amplexe, Turrilite



Actinia viridis (Actinie verte)

Actinia viridis (Actinie verte)



Callianase souterraine, Crangon vulgaire, Squille queue-rude, Anilocre du cap, Aega entaillee, Alepidure prolonge, Pandare bicolore
Callianase souterraine, Crangon vulgaire, Squille queue-rude, Anilocre du cap, Aega entaillee, Alepidure prolonge, Pandare bicolore



Centriscus scolopax + Centriscus scutatus
Centriscus scolopax + Centriscus scutatus



1 Callorhynque (Callorhynchus antarticus) 2 Squale (Squalus centrina)
Callorhynque (Callorhynchus antarticus)
+ Squale (Squalus centrina)



1 Aleyrode de l'eclaire 2 Cochenille du nopal 3 Puceron du rosier 4 Kermes du pecher 5 Pyslle du jonc
1 Aleyrode de l'eclaire 2 Cochenille du nopal 3 Puceron du rosier 4 Kermes du pecher 5 Pyslle du jonc



1 Arctia matronula - Bombice matrone 2 Arctia casa. - Bombice herisson 3 Arctia purpurea - Bombice mouchete
Arctia matronula (Bombice matrone) Arctia casa. (Bombice herisson) Arctia purpurea (Bombice mouchete)



1 Casque bezoar (Cassis glauca) 2 Harpe ventrue (Harpa ventricosa) 3 Buccin ecaille (Buccinium testudineum)
Casque bezoar (Cassis glauca), Harpe ventrue (Harpa ventricosa), Buccin ecaille (Buccinium testudineum)



1 civette a bandeau (Viverra fasciata) 2 Paradoxure type (Paradoxurus typus) 3 Ichneumie albescente (Ichneumia albescens)
Civette a bandeau (Viverra fasciata), Paradoxure type (Paradoxurus typus), Ichneumie albescente (Ichneumia albescens)



Equus hemions - Le Dziggetai
Equus hemions - Le Dziggetai



Ardea Pavonina (Grue couronnee) + Psophia crepitans (Agami trompette)
Ardea Pavonina (Grue couronnee)
+ Psophia crepitans (Agami trompette)



Brugmansia bicolor
Brugmansia bicolor



Tropaeolum tuberosum (Capucine tubereuse)
Tropaeolum tuberosum (Capucine tubereuse)



Agaric oronge, Tremelle oreille de judas, Phallus orange, Lycoperdon gigantesque coupe, Pezize bleue, Clathre frise, Lycoperdon cisele, Truffe comestible
Agaric oronge, Tremelle oreille de judas, Phallus orange, Lycoperdon gigantesque coupe, Pezize bleue, Clathre frise, Lycoperdon cisele, Truffe comestible


[All these illustrations are cropped from the full page and are of varying size; they have all been fairly extensively background cleaned; click through for larger versions]


These natural history illustrations come from a mid-19th century 10-volume series from the Belgian naturalist, Pierre Auguste Joseph Drapiez (1778–1856). You might be forgiven for guessing that the outlandish semi-caricatures of fish and contrived, taxidermic qualities of the mammals were from a century earlier. And you would be right, in fact .. mostly.

Drapiez's 'Dictionnaire Classique Des Sciences Naturelles' is ostensibly an homage to the evolving scientific literature of the Enlightenment and the author was generous enough to underline the point in the title page by saying that his classical dictionary summarised the works of "Buffon, Daubenton, Lacépède, Cuvier, de Jussieu., Etc., Etc". So, while the series from Drapiez couldn't really be considered ground breaking in any material sense, it provided a useful overview of the history of a century's worth of scientific publishing.

Drapiez was something of a generalist in terms of his scientific interests and he doesn't attract a great deal of attention in the larger history of science or even in Belgian science, for that matter. He published a few works on geology and entomology, with a collaboration on a physical sciences series early in his professional career.

3 comments :

Frumingelo said...

Nice!

always.ticking said...

Very beautiful and detailed.

barefootsong said...

Cool! Thanks for the twitter note! :) We just used that moth illustration on postcards as part of our swag for a conference we were at & they were quite popular.

~Laura Bang!

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